How will Kvyat respond to his demotion?
This story will almost certainly dominate the weekend, and possibly the remainder of the season. How Danill Kvyat responds to this setback will go a long way to determining his future in the sport, but as we’ve seen in the past, Kvyat is rarely phased when facing the world’s media.
Some would say Kvyat even saves some of his best performances for when he’s really under pressure, like his comeback drive to fourth at last season’s Belgian Grand Prix, or qualifying fifth at Monaco after receiving a ‘wake-up call’ from Helmut Marko for being overtaken by Carlos Sainz in the previous race.
There’ll be few drivers on the grid more motivated than Kvyat this weekend, and likewise, Carlos Sainz will be fired up for his home race. Don’t be surprised to see both Toro Rosso’s in the points on Sunday.
How will Verstappen fair in a head-to-head with Ricciardo?
We’ll see 18 year old Max Verstappen racing for Red Bull this weekend and what a prospect that is. We know full well that Daniel Ricciardo is one of the quickest guys on the grid, so if Max runs him close, you can pretty much say goodbye to Kvyat returning to the team any time soon.
Verstappen hinted this week that the move was likely to happen sooner or later, and in promoting him early, my guess is Mercedes and Ferrari have been told to look elsewhere for 2017 and beyond.
Red Bull tend to go well here, and if Verstappen were to finish on the podium, he’d be the youngest ever to do so by a whopping two and a half years. Just saying.
The First Major Upgrades Of The Season
Barcelona has historically tended to mark the start of the European leg of the Formula One calendar, and with its proximity just a few hours flight from many of the team’s factories, it’s usually where we see the first major upgrades of the season.
Force India and McLaren have both talked of significant upgrades for this race, whilst Haas are bringing a rear wing upgrade and Renault are scheduled to run an upgrade to their engine in the post-race test.
For many teams this is a chance not only to correct any issues they’ve experienced during the flyaway races, but also to explore ideas ahead of next season’s regulations overhaul.
The Return of GP2 and GP3
Let’s not forget, some of the world’s finest young racing drivers will return to action this weekend as both the GP2 and GP3 series kick off their championships.
There are plenty of names you’ll recognise such as Sergey Sirotkin, Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn who’ve all tested F1 machinery in recent times.
It’s likely one or two of these names will end up on the grid next year so don’t miss it!
Will We See A New Winner?
You may think it’s unlikely as only really Mercedes and Ferrari seem to have the pace right now, however, an interesting stat worth noting is that the Spanish Grand Prix has seen a different winner every year since 2007.
With changeable weather conditions expected throughout the weekend, we may just see one or two surprises. Tenner on Verstappen anyone?